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You might remember that the French designer toy company – Le Lab – recently released their Playing Art series. And while those somewhat resembled primates, their newest line makes no doubt about it.

The company’s logo features a monkey, with open arms, presenting the Le Lab name. So they went with a pair of character designs – Marcel and Jessica - from artist Tizieu. The Mascots have been released in Original (brown hair and red shirts) and Wild (black hair ad black shirts) versions. We’ll be taking a look at the original Le Lab Macots.

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The Facts

Marcel and Jessica
Series: Le Lab Mascots
Manufacturer: Le Lab
Artist: Tizieu
Material: Rotocast vinyl head and body with PVC appendages
Dimensions: 6” tall (7” including tail)
Points of Articulation: 6 (neck, shoulders, tail, legs)
Designs: Classic and Wild Versions
Outfit: T-shirt (Jessica) and Tank Top (Marcel)
Accessories: 2 sets of hands (fists and open hands)
Edition Size: 500 pieces each (numbered on foot)

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The packaging is designed using a window front box featuring a “Hello my name is” nametag withthe character’s name. There are silhouettes of Marcel and Jessica on each side, along with an illustrated version of the packaged character on the rear of the box. Inside, each figure is contained within dual, interlocking plastic trays.

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Our Opinion

While Le Lab’s Playing Art line was more of their platform toy – the Marcel and Jessica Mascots are your more traditional rotocast vinyl ware. At first glance, the two characters might look very similar. They do use the same arms, hands, and tail sculpts. But everything else appears to be uniquely sculpted for the individual character.

Marcel is sporting a widow’s peak hairstyle, with a little scar above his right eye. He has a little facial hair on his chin, larger (almost clown-like) shoes, appears to be missing a tooth, and has eyes that are predominantly black with white circles. His outfit consists of a red and white fabric tank top with the number 14 on it. And underneath…he’s wearing his tighty whiteys with a little heart on the front.

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Jessica has longer, shaggy hair. Her face is a little trimmer than Marcel’s and her ears are smaller. Jessica’s eyes are larger and feature a white background – unlike Marcel’s – and eyelashes on the bottom. She’s wearing a fabric t-shirt that sports a little smiley face, and the bottom portion of her body and legs are painted to look like she’s wearing jeans.

One thing about both figures is that they are sculpted anatomically correct under their shirts. That means if you’re a fan of toys with nipples – Le Lab has you covered. I actually think this is sort of funny, but everyone might not agree. So just be aware.

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I’m impressed with the quality of these figures. If I had rated Le Lab’s Playing Art line around a B or B- in quality, these are definitely in the A- range. Good paintwork; the addition of real fabric clothes on the vinyl figures; and a unique sculpting job are all pluses in my opinion. You get a lot of different feels on the figure: Rotocast head, PVC arms, almost waxy feeling hands.

While the price below is that if you purchase directly from Le Lab, once they begin hitting US retailers, you’ll see them priced around $50 each. $100 seems a little steep if you’re buying both figures, but if you like the designs – you won’t be disappointed.

Overall, Marcel and Jessica are just plain fun characters. Le Lab has done something I always appreciate - adding real clothing to vinyl figures. Definitely two of my favorite releases of 2010.

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For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

You can pick one up at the following:

Le Lab: $58.80

Le Lab Mascots - Marcel and Jessica Grades

Figure Quality: 9/10
   Sculpt: 9/10
   Paint: 9/10
Accessories/Outfit: 8/10
Packaging: 8/10
Durability: 8/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
Value: 8/10

Marcel: 9.0/10
Jessica: 9.2/10

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